Isn’t it a comforting thought that air traffic controllers at major airports sleep on the job? It is not the first time this has happened and I know it won’t be the last, but it is always newsworthy when it does occur.
Earlier today, just after midnight, two flights were approaching Washington National Airport. One was an American Airlines flight and the other was a United A320 from Chicago. The AA flight attempted to receive final landing instructions from the ATC but there was no response from the tower. After aborting the first landing, the aircraft landed without guidance. The UA A320 landed shortly thereafter.
No harm, no foul or are you crying foul? Air traffic controllers work long and hard hours, but they are paid handsomely for their work and I have no pity for someone, even if not deliberate, who falls asleep on the job. I would make it very clear to the controller that if something like this ever happens again, s/he will be terminated immediately. And whose bright idea was it to only have one peson in the control tower at a time?
Thankfully, no one was hurt.